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LTTE set new example in exploiting sport for terrorism

Apr 7 (LR) LTTE had been setting new examples in terrorism in the past. They established the craft of using suicide bombs to the world. Most of LTTE suicide bomb missions have utilized women. LTTE has been identified as a terrorist organization having the highest number of child soldiers in their military wing. They have already killed leaders of two countries including Rajeev Gandhi, former prime minister of India and R. Premadasa, former president of Sri Lanka. more..

Rohana Wijeweera: The age of innocence, the April uprising & tragedy or nemesis

Apr 7 (LG) Nine years after his death Rohana Wijeweera, the leader of the JVP remains as much of an enigmatic figure as he was during his chequered and controversy-ridden life. To be sure a small hill of books, leaflets, booklets and theses have been spawned by the JVP but behind this smokescreen of words the figure of its founder remains as illusive as ever. more..

Sloppy Journalism?

Apr 7 (GV) Reuters reports that Mr Fernandopulle was “the second minister to be killed since January”, citing Minister for nation building, D.M. Dassanayake, as the first. I seem to recall the killing of the UNP’s T. Maheshwaran on January 1 2008, and the TNA’s K. Siwaneshan on March 6. I may be wrong, but it is my understanding that both these politicians were members of parliament. However, whether Reuters got it right or wrong isn’t the issue. more..

Mahela blames batting failure for Windies defeat

Apr 7 (Reuters) Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene said his side's top order batting failure in the second innings had been to blame for Sunday's loss to West Indies, which tied the two-test series 1-1. West Indies reached the victory target of 253 with the loss of just four wickets but Jayawardene said it was Saturday's top order collapse when they slumped to 99 for six lost them the match, despite a century from Thilan Samaraweera. more..

Paradise assured for the northerners

Apr 7 (SLW) There was a time velvi, a goat sacrificial ceremony, marked the end of the annual festivals of some temples in Sri Lanka. It was a kind of parish feast very much based in rural agricultural and pagan traditions. Thanks to people like the much revered poet and philosopher Somasundara Pulavar of Navaly and the spirit and visions of young people of the 1950s, this gory sacrifice has been entirely banned. more..

An internal agenda for the East?

Apr 7 (LG) By entering the scene though a little late in the day, SLMC president Rauff Hakeem on the one hand, and the People's Front of Liberation Tigers (PFLT), the latter the political outfit floated by the LTTE as far back as 1989, have made the 10 May polls to the Provincial Council high profile and interesting at the same time. Coming as it does in the footsteps of the relatively peaceful conduct of the local government polls in eastern Batticaloa district in recent weeks, more..

Jeyaraj: A Tribute

Apr 7 (LG) I have ventured to write a synopsis of the achievements, vision, and career of Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, as a person who was well acquainted to him. I was impressed by his deep thoughts and the seriousness with which he took his duties to humanity. This is unusual for many who are in power today. The facts surrounding his service to the country are astounding. He was a very busy and amazing gentleman. He lived by his conscience. more..

A Kandyan wedding in highlife in the 19th century

Apr 7 (LG) Palanquins, caprisoned-elephants and horse-carriages in the "magul-perahera" are now part of history with high-powered automobile industry, replacing man and animal — powered modes of transport during ceremonial events. A report which appeared in the prestigious English newspaper "The Ceylon Sunday Telegraph" of January 15, 1890 published by the British in Ceylon at the time however, more..

Sri Lanka’s Intelligence Services

Apr 7 (LG) "A good Intelligence Service is a cheap substitute for large scale war" wrote William Colby, former head of the FBI and CIA in his ‘Letter of the Century’. The fact that the National Intelligence Bureau of Sri Lanka has been a total failure is clear enough to every one and it needs no further elaboration to stress on the obvious. It is also a futile exercise explaining the causes for its failure and suggesting meaningful steps to a moribund Defence set-up. more..

Buddhism fastest growing religion in West

Apr 7 (AT) Buddhism is being recognized as the fastest growing religion in Western societies both in terms of new converts and more so in terms of friends of Buddhism, who seek to study and practice various aspects of Buddhism. Dr. Ananda Guruge, leading Buddhist Scholar and former Sri Lankan Diplomat made this observation during a public lecture at the All Ceylon Buddhist Congress Hall Colombo on Friday, April 4. more..

Madhu Shrine: the struggle to preserve the sanctity of a sacred shrine

Apr 7 (GV) Presently located in areas under the control of the LTTE, but in the frontlines of the recent battle fronts, the Madhu Shrine has now become a prized target to claim in the ongoing battles between the Government and LTTE. For centuries, Madhu Shrine has been a sacred place of worship for Catholics from all over the country as well as non Catholics. more..

Eastern Muslims facing much hardship

Apr 7 (MG) Former Muslim Peace Secretariat Director M.I.M. Mohideen stressed that Muslims in the Eastern Province were facing severe difficulties because of the activities of armed groups. He asserted that steps must be taken to capture the east through political means. Addressing a gathering organised by the Muslim Media Forum to launch its Media Directory, Mohideen said that the Muslims were the majority in the Eastern Province and that they should be given the authority to govern the province. more..

Only alternative is to completely defeat separatist tiger terrorism! – JVP

Apr 7 (LT) The JVP has condemned the “brutal attack” that killed Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, Marathon Champion K.A. Karunaratna, talented coach Luxman de Silva and more than ten others and extends its sympathies to all relatives and loved ones of the dead and wish speedy recovery to those who were injured in the attack. “It is after a long time that the separatist tiger terrorists were able to carry out an attack in an area near Colombo. more..

Foreign Minister urges international community to treat LTTE as a terrorist organization

Apr 7 (AT) The reckless killing of a senior politician who represented a minority Tamil Christian community together with five athletes at a district marathon with a coach of national eminence by a walking bomb has once again drawn the attention to the fact that the LTTE has to be dealt with in a manner terrorists deserve, Foreign minister Rohitha Bogollagama told the BBC in Cairo. more..

Family of four slain by homeguard

Apr 7 (LD) Four members of the same family were shot dead by a home guard at their residence in the Ihala Puliyankulama area of Saliyaweva, Puttalama at midnight yesterday (April 06th). The Saliyaweva police say that two women and two men were slain in the incident while another 16-year old girl in the house had been abducted. Meanwhile, another male resident had reportedly fled the house to save himself, the police add. more..

ABC radio to get back on air: official

Apr 7 (LBO) Sri Lanka's ABC Radio network is hoping to get back on air shortly after authorities re-issued some of its licenses and frequencies, a top official said. The network ran five radio channels which were shut down by the government over a report it broadcast about Tamil Tiger activity in the south of the island. ABC managing director Reynor Silva said Hiru FM, Gold FM and Sooryan FM have been issued spectrum by the telecommunications regulator Monday. more..

Condolence Messages on the death of Jeyaraj Fernandopulle

Apr 7 (GDI) The sudden demise of Minister Fernandopulle is an irreparable loss to both the Government and the Sri Lanka Freedom Party. He was forthright in expressing his views and was a good debator in Parliament. "I convey my deepest sympathies to the Minister's immediate family members. The LTTE, infuriated over the non-ending military defeats in the North and East is engaged in this type of inhumane assassinations to paralyse the Government's effort of more..

Jaffna prepares to celebrate New Year

Apr 7 (GDI) The people of Jaffna await the traditional New Year with great expectations and better security, Jaffna Security Forces Commander Maj. Gen. G.A. Chandrasiri addressing the media said. According to Maj. General Chandrasiri, essential food items are in plenty with a three month buffer stock available. He also pointed out that security has been strengthened and that life in the peninsula is returting to normal with the impact of the LTTE on the wane. more..

Jeyaraj's funeral with full state honours

Apr 7 (GDI) Steps have been taken to conduct the funeral of slain Minister of Highways and Road Development and Chief Government Whip, Hon. Jeyaraj Fernandopulle with full state honours, according to a press release from the Presidential Media Unit. This was decided at a special meeting of senior political associates of the late Minister chaired by His Excellency, President Mahinda Rajapaksa. more..

Eyewitness saw man throwing parcel

Apr 7 (LNP) Fourteen-year-old Kavindu Nadishan, a participant at the marathon said he wanted to relieve himself and went to the cemetery close by when he saw a man throwing a parcel towards the road. He said the blast occurred just then. One of Nadishan s hands was fractured from the impact of the blast. Another eyewitness, 19-year-old L.B. Nadira, of No. 196, Ullalapola, Weliweriya explained the harrowing experience to the Daily Mirror from more..

Tigers break promise, attack sports event in Sri Lanka

Apr 7 (LNP) The government yesterday vowed that it wouldn t succumb to LTTE terrorism after a male suicide cadre assassinated Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (55) at Weliweriya, Gampaha as he flaged off a marathon at 7.45 am. Fernandopulle held the post of the SLFP Treasurer at the time of his death and was one of the staunchest defenders of the ruling coalition both in and outside Parliament. more..

High taxes discourage banks development role

Apr 7 (LNP) High government taxes and the high interest rate regime are discouraging banks from taking on a greater role in the country s economy. The 35 percent Corporation Tax and 20 percent Financial Value Added Tax (FVAT) are making it difficult for banks to build their balance sheets because post tax profits are further eroded to pay dividends to shareholders.Banks are finding it difficult to grow their balance sheets and maintain capital in accordance with BASEL II. more..

When will they learn?

Apr 7 (LNP) The LTTE has once again laid bare its true face as a savage terrorist outfit through a dastardly attack on a sports event, killing Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, the National Athletics Coach Lakshman de Alwis, Olympic runner K. A. Karunarante and a number of others including sports enthusiasts at Weliweriya yesterday. It was such indiscriminate rabid terror that plunged the Munich Olympics into a bloodbath in 1972. more..

WP most vulnerable for homicides: Survey

Apr 7 (SAMN) Western province is the most dangerous place to live in Sri Lanka as the majority of homicides occur in that province, a survey has revealed. The Southern province and North Western province take the second and third place respectively for the not much sought after rankings. The report on the survey titled ‘National Report on Violence and Health in Sri Lanka ‘was conducted by a team of medical experts of more..

SL reiterates support for Palestinians

Apr 7 (SAMN) Sri Lanka pledged its support for the Palestinian cause at the second summit of the Asia-Middle East Dialogue (AMED II) which brought together foreign Ministers of 50 countries. "We are concerned about the Palestinian issue and the President himself wanted the foreign ministry to advocate the Palestinian cause, which we believe to be legitimate. We pledge our support and will remain committed," more..

PB willing to issue permits: GMOA claims

Apr 7 (SAMN) The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) Sunday claimed the Treasury Chief Dr. P. B. Jayasundera had agreed to rescind his decision to stop issuing duty free car permits to its members. Therefore, there was no need to take trade union action to pressure the government, the GMOA said. GMOA General Secretary Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya dismissed ACGMOA threat that all doctors would strike against the government’s decision. more..

Battle against mosquito menace

Apr 7 (SAMN) Based on previous patterns of dengue outbreaks, 2008 is being considered a high risk year, with the first three months showing a significant increase in the number of dengue related cases compared to the first three months of last year. So far 1806 dengue cases, including five deaths, have been reported for this year, compared to the1499 cases reported during the first three months of last year. more..

Eyewitness recounts Weliweriya terror

Apr 7 (DN) Yesterday's bomb attack on Minister Jeyeraj Fernandopulle by an LTTE suicide cadre at Kanthi Sports Ground in Weliweriya, Gampaha has taken place on the minister's second visit to the ground to inaugurate the sports meet organised by Adishthana Sports Club in that morning. According to a member of the Organising Committee of the sports club and witness to the explosion, Harsha Priyankara, Minister Fernandopulle has first visited the Kanthi Sports Ground at 6.15 am. more..

Colombo Port achieves historic growth

Apr 7 (DN) The Port of Colombo achieved a year on year container throughput growth, of 10 per cent in December 2007. This is a record achievement given the fact that the traditional leaders of the container port league have only managed single digit growth during last year. The Sri Lanka Ports Authority managed Jaya Container Terminal together with the South Asia Gateway Terminals, have ended the financial year with a first-time-ever record monthly throughput of over 300,000 teus. in March. more..

Student dies due to surgical complications

Apr 7 (Island) A 17-year-old student who under went corrective dental surgery at the Dental Institute developed post surgical complications and later died at its (Dental Institutes) Recovery Unit. At the inquest held into to the death of Godiyana Arachige Nuwan Madushanka (17) a student of Dharmapala Vidyalaya Pannipitiya by Additional City Coroner Ashroff Rumi on (4) April. more..

Weerawansa facing disciplinary inquiry, confirms Somawansa

Apr 7 (Island) JVP leader Somawansa Amarasinghe yesterday confirmed reports that JVP parliamentary group leader Wimal Weerawansa was under a disciplinary inquiry. Although he didn’t identify the outspoken MP as the subject of an inquiry, Amarasinghe said any one found guilty of indiscipline would be severely dealt with. "In fact, we will not show any mercy on our part," he told a commemorative meeting held at Vihara Mahadevi open air theatre more..

Gayle fined 70 pc match fee for Code of Conduct breach

Apr 7 (PTI) West Indies captain Chris Gayle was fined 70 per cent of his match fee, while his teammates were docked 35 per cent of their match earnings for their slow over-rate during the second cricket Test against Sri Lanka in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Gayle was found to have breached Level 2.11 of the ICC Code which relates to unfair play due to his side bowling its overs too slowly. more..

End of the road for Marathon Karu

Apr 7 (DM) K. A Karunaratne, Sri Lanka’s champion long distance runner was among those killed in the Weliweriya bomb explosion yesterday. Karunaratne was also one of the organisers of the event which was to be flagged off by Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle and was standing close to the Minister when the explosion took place. Karunaratne who was fondly known to the sports loving public as ‘Marathon Karu’ won several national and international events during his career. more..

Excise Dept. declares new year week of detections

Apr 7 (DM) The Excise Department declared a special detection week commencing from today targeting the illicit sale, possession and manufacture of liquor during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. Acting under the “Mathata Thitha,” programme of the Mahinda Chintanaya Excise Commissioner General Wasantha Hapuarachchi has given instruction to the Excise division office and its staff to conduct detections during this period. more..

IMF warns commodity bubble may burst; will it affect Sri Lanka tea?

Apr 7 (LBO) The International Monetary Fund has warned that the current commodity bubble, perhaps the biggest in four decades, which has sent oil, metals and food prices zooming may burst soon as a global credit bubble unwinds rapidly. A crumbling commodity bubble, while lowing oil and imported food prices could reduce prices for Sri Lanka's tea and raw rubber exports. more..

United States strongly condemns terrorist attack in Weliweriya

Apr 7 (USE) The United States strongly condemns the terrorist attack on April 6 in Weliweriya, Gampaha District that claimed the life of Minister of Highways and Road Development and Chief Government Whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. Also killed in this heinous attack were National Athletic Coach Lakshman de Alwis, well- known marathon runner K.A. Karunaratne, and several other persons, while scores more were injured. more..

Sri Lankan rebels set up U.S. branch

Apr 7 (WT) The Tamil Tigers, a terrorist organization whose suicide bombings and political assassinations have killed 4,000 people in the past two years, have quietly established a U.S. presence to help bankroll and equip its brutal secessionist campaign in Sri Lanka, authorities said. Formally known as the LTTE and designated as terrorists by the State Department in 1997, the group has sought for more than three decades to violently overthrow the Sri Lankan government and more..

Sri Lanka bombs north after assassination, more attacks feared

Apr 7 (AFP) Sri Lankan war planes targeted Tamil suicide bombers on Monday, a day after the assassination of a top minister, the defence ministry said, amid fears of more attacks ahead of the traditional New Year. Air force jets attacked a "Black Tiger," or suicide bomber, base in the Mankulam area of the rebel-held north, the defence ministry said, adding the planes hit their targets. more..

Tamil Tigers set up presence in US: report

Apr 7 (AFP) The Tamil Tigers, a Sri Lankan rebel group responsible of killing about 4,000 people in the past two years, have quietly established a US presence to help finance their separatist campaigns, The Washington Times reported Monday. Citing various US government sources, the newspaper said the organization was trying to acquire millions of dollars worth of anti-aircraft weapons, automatic rifles, grenade launchers, ammunition, explosives and other military equipment. more..

Parliament pays respect to Jeyaraj

Apr 8 (BBC) Political leaders representing all major parties and communities have condemned the killing of senior minister, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle. President Mahinda Rajapaksa, PM Rathnasiri Wickramanayake, Opposition Leader Ranil Wickramasinghe and MPs paid last respects to the slain minister as his body was taken to the parliament on Monday. The minister and 13 others were killed at a suicide blast in Weliweriya on Sunday. more..

Sri Lanka suicide bombing prompts calls for political solution

Apr 8 (LBO) The United States, European Union and Canada have condemned Sunday's Tamil Tiger suicide bombing which killed a Sri Lankan minister, saying only a political solution, not violence, would ensure peace. "The United States denounces this vicious and reprehensible terrorist attack on civilians in the strongest possible terms," a US embassy statement said Monday. "Its perpetrators have achieved nothing other than to cause further suffering among the people of Sri Lanka. more..

Basil next Highways Minister?

Apr 8 (LD) Following the tragic death of Minister of Highways and Road Development, Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, President Mahinda Rajapaksa is reported to have decided to appoint UPFA National listMP and brother Basil Rajapaksa to the post, sources from Temple Trees reveal. Meanwhile several Ministers have personally requested the President to appoint Basil Rajapaksa as the Chief Government Whip in parliament. However, it is not clear as yet what decision the President would take on this, says the same Temple Trees source. more..

Environmental Protection Act to Parliament

Apr 8 (GDI) Environment and Natural Resources Ministry will present an 'Environment Protection Act' for approval in Parliament tomorrow (08). The new act will serve as a gateway in environmental management processes of the country, Ministry sources said. The Implementation of the 'Environment Protection Act' will enable a methodical progression in preserving the environment depending on the products utilized by the consumers with respect to their impact or degree of hazard on the environment when and after the using of a particular product. more..

Fr. Cyril — Dr. Rex, the JVP

Apr 8 (LG) Father Cyril Edirisingha enjoyed good health, had loads of common sense and an ability to listen and learn. Always in white robes he sported a neatly trimmed beard, in later years was a flowing white one. His cheerful disposition and he would open every pore of his existence to the whisper of ‘being’. Evident always around him was a climate of affection, confidence and trust and optimism. Never was there in his dealings with others that flabbiness that sweeps everything away and conspires to weakness. more..

Fernandopulle's assassination likely to trigger fresh offensive

Apr 8 (LG) The assassination of Sri Lanka Highways Minister and Chief Government whip Jeyaraj Fernandopulle (55) by a suicide bomb blast at Gampaha district on Sunday (April 6) morning has deprived the President Rajapaksa of his point's man in the SLFP. The minister was killed along with 11 others when he was flagging off a marathon race as part of the Sinhala (and Tamil) New Year's Day celebration at Weliweriya. Over 95 others were injured in the blast. more..

Two unhealthy political developments - Legitimising the TMVP (Part I)

Apr 8 (LG) Political developments in Sri Lanka have been as rapid as the abnormal deluge that has bogged down the troops in the forward lines of north. There had been some realignment of political fronts as the country approached the May 10 deadline for the first ever provincial council elections in the east since the de-merger of the north-eastern province. Ideally this should be a healthy development. more..

Churches deplore killing of Catholic government minister

Apr 8 (EL) Churches in Sri Lanka have deplored the killing of government minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle, a Roman Catholic, in a bomb blast at a sports event near Colombo. "A sporting event planned to build community ended with an abrupt and violent shattering of community," lamented Anglican Bishop Duleep de Chickera of Colombo in an April 7 statement in which he deplored the "brutal killing" of the minister for roads, and of others who lost their lives in the attack which has been blamed on the rebel LTTE. more..

Whereabouts unknown of a man detained for questioning

Apr 8 (AHRC) The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding another case in which the whereabouts of a man remain unknown after arrest in Colombo, allegedly by officers from the Criminal Investigation Division (CID) on 20 March 2008. According to the information received, at around 9:30pm on March 20, seven persons in civilian dress and another dressed in the uniform of the Special Task Force (STF), all bearing firearms rushed into the house of Mr. Peer Adumai Mohamed Rafeek. more..

Struggle to protect sanctity: Reflection on Madhu

Apr 8 (FI) Presently located in areas under the control of the LTTE, but in the frontlines of the recent battle fronts, the Madhu Shrine has now become a prized target to claim in the ongoing battles between the Government and LTTE. For centuries, Madhu Shrine has been a sacred place of worship for Catholics from all over the country as well as non Catholics. In the last three decades, as battles raged around it, the Madhu Shrine had withstood countless challenges and offered refuge to thousands of displaced people. more..

Bangladesh condemns Sri Lankan minister's assassination

Apr 8 (Xinhua) Bangladesh Monday condemned the assassination of Sri Lankan Senior Minister Jeyaraj Fernandopulle by suspected terrorists. "It was a cowardly act of terrorism that we strongly condemn. Our prayers are with the families of Fernandopulle and others who lost their lives in the incident," Bangladeshi caretaker government Foreign Adviser Iftekhar Ahmed Chowdhury said in a message. more..